Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Spreading the *Right* "R-Word"

***I'm re-posting what I'd written one year ago.  It's a message that shouldn't just come up once a year on the relevant day, but should be set as a daily reminder to everyone.  Please remember, if it hurts even one person, please don't say it.***
 
 



Today is 3/6, the day to Spread the Word to End the Word. 

And what would that word be, you may be asking? 

Retard.  

Retarded.

More commonly known in this circle as the "r-word," because it actually hurts to say it.  And in honesty, it actually hurt to type it, and hurts to read it, too. 

And for those of you out there who may be reading who may not have a connection to the world of people with intellectual disabilities, this doesn't just mean the intentional use of the word directed at a specific person.  This also means the common, everyday usage becoming more and more a part of peoples' standard vernacular, in which the word is used to describe an idea, or an activity, or a group of people, or even oneself in the context of humor, or distaste. 

And you know what?  That Hurts, Too.  It hurts people with intellectual disabilities and their families, demeans them, perpetuates a stereotype and says it's okay to laugh at them, to make fun of them, to consider them not worthy of RESPECT.  

How wonderful it would be if that were the new R-Word (deserving of capitalization now)...Respect. 

Beautiful.

Honorable.

Valued.

My daughter has Down syndrome. 

And she is beautiful.

And honored.

And valued.

She is worthy.

Please...take the pledge today at www.r-word.org, pledge to stop using that word.  Pledge to help educate those that do.  Pledge to help make the world a better place for people like Samantha.

8 comments:

Extranjera said...

I think it hurts everyone. I think it makes us worse people. I think it betrays how little we understand each other. When we know fully well how it is so often used in a derogatory way even the best intentions come already marred.

Molly said...

Here's another post on stuff other than miralax, thought of you!!! http://www.outrageousfortune.net/2013/03/natural-miralax-free-constipation-tips.html

Also yes to everything that is in this post. It does hurt to say it. I cringe and my heart hurts a little bit.

Laura said...

Great post Becca!

Leah said...

Love it again.

Kerri said...

I wrote a post about this yesterday. I am glad you are spreading the word!

http://undiagnosedbutokay.blogspot.com/2013/03/trying-to-spread-word.html

Ginger Stickney said...

Yes, yes, yes. I had to debate this all day Wednesday with people. It made my head hurt. It IS all about respect.

Oh side note: Samantha is beautiful!

PsychoJenic said...

Excellent post. It hurts us all.

Jo Lynn said...

Great explanation of why this word is so hurtful.